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San Diego Comic-Con International

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Logo - SDCCI

San Diego Comic-Con International, commonly referred to as simply Comic-Con and a variety of other abbreviations, began in 1970 as a comic-focused convention, but has since then grown to be a major annual event to promote numerous media franchises and their products, be they toys, comics, TV shows, movies, etc. Following a preview night on Wednesday, it is held from Thursday to Sunday in July, in San Diego, California, United States, these days at the San Diego Convention Center.

Unlike the American International Toy Fair, which is more business-oriented, San Diego Comic-Con International is meant for the public, though passes to get into the convention tend to sell out within a few hours. Visitors can expect to be treated to sneak-previews of and the scoop on upcoming products, creator panels, special contests, and the chance to buy exclusive merchandise created just for the convention.

Though ever-evolving, Comic-Con is still a male-dominated event. When in 2010, Mattel used the convention to fully launch Monster High, that was an unexpected and bold move, especially since the new franchise's stand was no less spectacular than the ones of the well-established franchises. However, the results were favorable, and Monster High has had a stand at the convention since, expanding so well that in 2013 the abundant content was split and one half used for New York Comic Con.

2010

SDCCI 2010 - Monster High stand

At the time of San Diego Comic-Con International 2010, Monster High merchandise had only been on the market for a month. Because of this, there were no special events at the stand and the portion of it dedicated to the history of the brand was struggling for content. All six 'Basic' dolls out at the time were on display, both loose and boxed versions, in a case on the left. The top shelf also contained the Fearbook and the iCoffin, two of the brand's more iconic products. The center shelf, in addition to dolls, held a copy of Monster High, which was also on display in the future merchandise display case.

SDCCI 2010 - Garrett Sander poses

Of the future merchandise display case, located on the right, the top level was reserved for the Mattel-produced merchandise that was a significant part of the early days of the franchise. On display were the first three Friends plushies, the Fortune Skull line, the Freakey Ring & Mirror line, the Terrifying Tattoo Roller, the Lace-Up Tote Bag, and a scarf. Below that was the doll level, featuring the second wave of the 'Basic' assortment and the first wave of Dawn of the Dance. The lowest level also had Ghoulia and Holt on display, but while they were still in their boxes. The dolls were accompanied by a copy of Monster High, a diary, and a Drop Dead Gorgeous bag.

Date July 21-25
Attendees Garrett Sander
Exclusives Frankie Stein, assorted merchandise
New display 'Basic': Ghoulia Yelps, Holt Hyde
Dawn of the Dance: Cleo de Nile, Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf
Old display 'Basic': Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Lagoona Blue, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Frankie Stein
Merch display Friends: Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Frankie Stein
Fortune Skull: Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile
Freakey Ring & Mirror: Lagoona Blue, Draculaura, Frankie Stein
Terrifying Tattoo Roller
Bags: Lace-Up Tote Bag, Drop Dead Gorgeous bag
Justice-exclusive scarf
Justice-exclusive diary
Monster High
Fearbook
iCoffin

2011

Facebook - SDCCI July 21 stand

Monster High became the success Mattel hoped for, but at only a year in Mattel had not yet fully understood its potential to last. Therefore, while more spectacular than the 2010 stand, the 2011 stand was still modest compared to what 2012 brought. Significantly, SDCCI 2011 saw the introduction of daily reveals with Toralei Stripe being the Thursday reveal and Nefera de Nile being the Saturday reveal. Before their respective reveals, their spots were occupied by pink coffin lockers. Another debut of SDCCI stand content was a table to acquire autographs from a number of people involved with Monster High. And lastly, SDCCI 2011 was the first time Ghoulia Yelps was cast in the role of Comic-Con reporter.

SDCCI 2011 - contest closeup

Unique in the history of Monster High, a doll election was hosted for convention guests, Facebook users, and Monster High website visitors to vote between three characters. The winning character would see a doll release in 2012. The contenders were Wydowna Spider (then called Daughter of Arachne), Headless Headmistress Bloodgood, and Scarah Screams. Scarah Screams won the vote.

SDCCI 2011 - future doll reveals

Another rarity for the Monster High stand at SDCCI was that the stand paid very limited attention to future merchandise, instead mainly showing off material already in stores or to hit stores within just a month. In this sense, San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 followed in the spirit of American International Toy Fair 2011. Only four items with a few months before their release to be on display were the two 'Campus Stroll' dolls, the first Monster High console-style video game - Ghoul Spirit, and the third Monster High entry - Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way.

Facebook - SDCCI 2011 autograph table

The display area consisted of three cases, two regular display cases and a voting machine for the character popularity contest. Of the display case on the right, the top level contained the School Clubs line, the third wave of the Friends series, and a Frankie Stein costume. The shelf below contained all the Monster High books up until that point and two T-shirts. The lowest shelf by the Dawn of the Dance series and the Classroom dolls, the latter one being displayed within their boxes. The display case on the left had the entire top row filled with assorted merchandise and the middle row with the full 'School's Out' series—including Ghoulia Yelps and Holt Hyde—and two dolls of the 'Campus Stroll' assortment. The bottom level contained the Dead Tired dolls along with the Hydration Station and the Room to Howl playsets.

Date July 20-24
Attendees Garrett Sander, Audu Paden, Lisi Harrison, Ira Singerman, Eric Hardie
Exclusives Ghoulia Yelps, assorted merchandise
New display 'Campus Stroll': Nefera de Nile, Toralei Stripe
Old display 'Basic': Ghoulia Yelps, Holt Hyde
'School's Out': Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile, Frankie Stein, Spectra Vondergeist, Abbey Bominable, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Clawd Wolf
Classroom: Ghoulia Yelps, Lagoona Blue, Frankie Stein
School Clubs: Clawdeen Wolf, Abbey Bominable, Draculaura, Ghoulia Yelps
Dawn of the Dance: Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Ghoulia Yelps, Lagoona Blue
Dead Tired: Frankie Stein, Ghoulia Yelps, Draculaura, Cleo de Nile, Lagoona Blue/Hydration Station
Playsets: Clawdeen Wolf/Room to Howl
Merch display Video games: Ghoul Spirit, Ghoul Box
Books: Monster High, The Ghoul Next Door, Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way, Drop Dead Diary
Friends: Abbey Bominable, Spectra Vondergeist, Ghoulia Yelps
Clothes: Frankie Stein costume, blue T-shirt, black T-shirt
Monster Maker Machine
Team Monster Backpack
Sakar Monster High Digital Video Recorder with Camera
Ear Buds
Jewelry: Black-heart necklace, crystal skullette necklace, heart-skullette keychain necklace, black Drop Dead Gorgeous bracelet, pink Love Bites bracelet, pink Freaky Just Got Fabulous! bracelet
Monster High Skull Insulated Lunch Bag
Phone cases: Lagoona Blue phone case, half-plaid-half-tartan phone case
Frankie Stein iPad case

2012

Mattel report: Monster High Comic-Con 2012

For 2012, Mattel greatly increased the content the Monster High stand was to offer visitors. The amount of daily doll reveals was increased to three, covering Thursday to Saturday. The nature of the daily reveals was also altered, going from future regular dolls to future store-exclusive dolls. The reveals in order were Self-standing 'Signature' Headless Headmistress Bloodgood, Power Ghouls Clawdeen Wolf & Spectra Vondergeist, and Scaris: City of Frights Catrine DeMew. Each of the three reveals was presented as a Ghoulia Yelps silhouette before the time of the reveal.

SDCCI 2012 - panel

In addition to the signature table introduced the previous year, Monster High hosted a panel. The panel was held on the 13th from 15:00 to 16:00 at room 24ABC. The panelists were Garrett Sander, Natalie Villegas, Rebecca Shipman, Eric Hardie, Ira Singerman, Audu Paden, Debi Derryberry, and Erin Fitzgerald. The panel consisted of four activities. Firstly, Sander, Villegas, and Shipman revealed Jinafire Long and Skelita Calaveras and elaborated on their inspiration for them. This was followed by Singerman, Paden, Derryberry, and Fitzgerald discussing the making of the Monster High cartoon series. Secondly, there was a Q&A session for questions asked at the panel and a few submitted to the Monster High Twitter account before the 6th of July. Thirdly, there was a sneak-peak of the upcoming TV special "Ghouls Rule". And fourthly, there was a costume contest for those visitors attending in cosplay. The panel was also one of only two moments during the convention that that year's Monster High tote bag could be obtained. The other moment required visitors to attend the Twitter Fan Meet Up at the Mattel signing area between 10:00 and 11:00 earlier that day.

SDCCI 2012 - Frankie-side photo booth

Another new feature of 2012 was the presence of a photo booth area with semi-lifesized cardboard cut-outs of Clawdeen Wolf and Frankie Stein in Ghouls Rule fashion as well as a closed-off photo booth, which encouraged users to take their picture and upload it on the Monster High Facebook account.

Upgrading from two in the previous years, the 2012 Monster High stand featured four display cases, from left to right roughly definable as a Ghouls Rule-centric display case, a history-themed display case, a Skultimate Roller Maze, Scarily Ever After, and time releases display case, and a merchandise display case. The history display case contained all the primary 'Signature' dolls of all characters, plus 'Campus Stroll' Clawdeen and 'School's Out' Draculaura. Gil and Cupid were present as his Skull Shores doll and her Sweet 1600 doll on display on account of that being their only dolls out at the time. The Ghouls Rule and Skultimate Roller Maze collections were elaborately presented, featuring dolls both in boxes and loose. Ghouls Rule Abbey Bominable was the only Ghouls Rule doll not shown in its box, while of Skultimate Roller Maze the double dolls present covered Ghoulia Yelps, Abbey Bominable, and Operetta. In fact, Ghoulia was on display four times: as single-pack loose doll, as single pack boxed doll, as 2-pack loose doll, and as 2-pack boxed doll. The merchandise display case reserved the middle shelf to promote the new book series, for which there also were boxed versions of the protagonist trio present.

Date July 11-15
Attendees Garrett Sander, Natalie Villegas, Rebecca Shipman, Eric Hardie, Ira Singerman, Audu Paden, Debi Derryberry, Erin Fitzgerald
Exclusives Scarah Screams, Hoodude Voodoo, assorted merchandise
New display Self-standing 'Signature': Headless Headmistress Bloodgood
Power Ghouls: Clawdeen Wolf, Spectra Vondergeist
Scaris: City of Frights: Catrine DeMew, Jinafire Long, Skelita Calaveras
Skultimate Roller Maze: Abbey Bominable, Clawdeen Wolf
Old display 'Basic': Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Holt Hyde, Ghoulia Yelps
'School's Out': Lagoona Blue, Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Spectra Vondergeist, Clawd Wolf, Draculaura, Abbey Bominable
'Campus Stroll': Toralei Stripe, Meowlody, Purrsephone, Nefera de Nile, Howleen Wolf, Clawdeen Wolf, Operetta
'Between Classes': Jackson Jekyll, Rochelle Goyle, Robecca Steam, Venus McFlytrap
Skull Shores: Gillington "Gil" Webber
Sweet 1600 C.A. Cupid
Skultimate Roller Maze: Operetta, Frankie Stein, Lagoona Blue, Ghoulia Yelps
Scarily Ever After: Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf, Frankie Stein
Ghouls Rule: Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Cleo de Nile, Abbey Bominable
Merch display Skultimate Roller Maze (DS, 3DS & Wii)
DVDs: Ghouls Rule, New Ghoul @ School (German)
Helmet
Ghoulicious Nails
Frankie & CLawdeen Super 3D Puzzle
Bags: Drop Dead Gorgeous black heart bag, Freaky Just Got Fabulous pink-blue-yellow bag, 'School's Out' bag, tartan backpack
Fingerless Fashion Gloves
Pink earmuffs
Monster High
Necklace
Books: Monster High, The Ghoul Next Door, Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way, Back and Deader Than Ever, Drop Dead Diary, Ghoulfriends Forever
Skirts: Blue skirt (Frankie), striped skirt (Ghoulia), pink (Draculaura), purple (Clawdeen)
Alarm clock
Watch case

2013

Mattel report: Monster High - San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Behind-the-Screams
SDCCI 2013 - Monster High stand

In the fourth year of Monster High, the SDCCI stand's size had increased such that Mattel could afford taking away half the content to create a New York Comic Con stand with it. This was announced at SDCCI 2013 itself. Among the shuffled content was the Frights, Camera, Action! - Hauntlywood series, of which two characters were part of the SDCCI daily reveals and the other two kept secret for NYCC. In regards to the daily reveals, 2013 continued the use of Ghoulia Yelps silhouettes as pre-reveal place holders. Much like 2012 added a day compared to 2011, 2013 added a day compared to 2012, thus featuring a reveal for each day of SDCCI. The formula behind the reveal choices changed again, this time mixing store-exclusives and regular releases. On Thursday, Sweet Screams Frankie Stein and Draculaura were revealed. Friday held the reveal of self-standing 'Signature' Catty Noir. Saturday's reveal centered on the Frights, Camera, Action! - Hauntlywood line, introducing Clawdia Wolf and Honey Swamp. Finally, on Sunday, the first doll of Sloman "Slo Mo" Mortavitch was revealed as part as the Ghoul Spirit line.

The previous year's addition of a panel to the Monster High stand was repeated in 2013. The panel was held on the 20th from 11:00 to 12:00 at room 25ABC. The panelists were Garrett Sander, Natalie Villegas, Rebecca Shipman, Eric Hardie, Roy Juarez, Javier Meabe, Audu Paden, Debi Derryberry, America Young, and Erin Fitzgerald. The panel consisted of four activities. The kick-off was a sneak-peek of the upcoming TV special "13 Wishes", which later during the panel was followed up by an own-animation trailer for "Frights, Camera, Action!". Another portion of the panel was reserved for script reading by the voice actors present. Thirdly, the designers talked about the creative process behind Monster High on the basis of Clawdia's and Honey's introduction. And fourthly, there was a Q&A session for questions asked at the panel.

Unique to 2013 and in honor of the release of "We Are Monster High", Madison Beer was present at the Monster High stand from 14:00 to 15:00 on the 19th for a Meet & Greet with the fans.

2012's photo booths did not return for 2013. Instead, a music video booth was set up. SDCCI 2013 coincided with the final days submissions for the fan "We Are Monster High" music video could be sent in as part of the running Freaky Fab 13 feature, and so Mattel offered visitors a chance to create and sent in their submissions through the booth.

The way the display cases were organized was updated in 2013. Before, all dolls and merchandise went into display cases arranged in a row. 2013 saw the introduction of a Monster High doll-scale model to present all the characters' (proxy-)primary dolls in. C.A. Cupid was left out this time because she had transferred to another franchise and another school a month prior. New faces on display among the old faces were Wydowna Spider and Jane Boolittle, while some room was also made for the four loose figurines of the Secret Creepers - Critters line. The diorama-esque display was reused a few months later for NYCC. The rest of the dolls and merchandise was presented the traditional way, altogether making for five display cases in total.

Of the traditional four, from left to right, one featured the releases from earlier that year, another contained all the merchandise of that year, the third was a top-to-bottom mix of all SDCCI exclusive dolls up to that point, Power Ghouls, and the daily reveals, while the last display case contained the entire 13 Wishes and 13 Wishes - Haunt the Casbah lines along with a little bit of same-themed merchandise. The display case for releases earlier in 2013 contained Picture Day and Classroom on the top shelf, I Heart Fashion, Music Festival, and the three Ghoul's Night Out single dolls on the middle shelf, and the entire Create-A-Monster Color Me Creepy series on the bottom shelf.

Date July 17-21
Attendees Erin Fitzgerald, Jonquil Goode, Debi Derryberry, America Young, Audu Paden, Garrett Sander, Rebecca Shipman, Natalie Villegas, Javier Meabe, Roy Juarez, Eric Hardie, Kellee Riley, Madison Beer
Exclusives Wydowna Spider, assorted merchandise
New display Self-standing 'Signature': Catty Noir, Jane Boolittle
Ghoul Spirit: Sloman "Slo Mo" Mortavitch
Frights, Camera, Action! - Hauntlywood: Clawdia Wolf, Honey Swamp
Sweet Screams: Frankie Stein, Draculaura
13 Wishes - Haunt the Casbah: Abbey Bominable
Old display Self-standing 'Signature': Headless Headmistress Bloodgood
'Basic': Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Holt Hyde, Ghoulia Yelps
'School's Out': Spectra Vondergeist, Clawd Wolf, Abbey Bominable
'Campus Stroll': Toralei Stripe, Meowlody, Purrsephone, Nefera de Nile, Howleen Wolf, Operetta
'Between Classes': Jackson Jekyll, Rochelle Goyle, Robecca Steam, Venus McFlytrap
Skull Shores: Gillington "Gil" Webber
Picture Day: Abbey Bominable, Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile, Draculaura, Operetta, Lagoona Blue, Spectra Vondergeist
Classroom: Cleo de Nile, Ghoulia Yelps), Abbey Bominable, Heath Burns
I Heart Fashion: Clawdeen Wolf, Scarah Screams
Music Festival: Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf, Venus McFlytrap, Clawd Wolf, Abbey Bominable
Ghoul's Night Out: Rochelle Goyle, Spectra Vondergeist, Lagoona Blue
13 Wishes: Howleen Wolf, Twyla, Gigi Grant, Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile/Desert Frights Oasis, Spectra Vondergeist/Party Lounge
13 Wishes - Haunt the Casbah: Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura
Power Ghouls: Spectra Vondergeist, Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Toralei Stripe
SDCCI: Frankie Stein, Ghoulia Yelps, Scarah Screams, Hoodude Voodoo, Wydowna Spider
Create-A-Monster: Color Me Creepy Chamber, Werewolf (doll), Sea Monster (doll), Werewolf (fashion pack), Sea Monster (fashion pack)
Playsets: Scooter
Merch display Secret Creepers - Critters: Captain Penny, Count Fabulous, Azura, Neptuna, Hissette
Freaky and Fabulous: Lagoona Blue, Meowlody, Purrsephone, Frankie Stein, Draculaura
Freaky and Fabulous Pets: Count Fabulous, Crescent, Watzit
13 Wishes DVD
Shoes: pink ankle boots, black boots, black-blue-pink sneakers
Headphones: Headphone, 35348-WAL Plush Headphone - Pink
Purple clutch
4-Piece Bath Set in Skull Case
5-Piece Lip Balm in Skull Case
(Skullette) Ring Party Favors Supplies
Look Book
Girl's Pendant Necklace
Monster High
Books: Ghoulfriends Forever, Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun
Snap Shell Case: Skullette, Lagoona Blue, Ghoulia Yelps
Black bag with deep pink lining
Varsity Backpack
Varsity School Lunch Bag
Purple Girls Fedora Style Hat
13 Wishes wristlet
13 Wishes crossbody bag

2014

The fifth visit of Monster High to San Diego exchanged areas of investment rather than continued the growth. For instance, the school display case was not brought out again and there were no events or contents at the stand other than the panel on Saturday and the autograph table. On the other hand, because Mattel would not attend New York Comic Con in 2014, more new characters were announced at once and as before, another day was added to the daily reveals. The first one occured during preview night on Wednesday with the Scarisian Vacation 2-pack, which consists of a Rochelle Goyle doll and Garrott DuRoque's debut doll.

Date July 23-27
Attendees Erin Fitzgerald, America Young, Ogie Banks, Paula Rhodes, Stephanie Sheh, Audu Paden
Exclusives Iris Clops, Manny Taur, assorted merchandise

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