Saturday, July 16, 2011

D23 and the Almighty Comic-Con

While Disney prepares for next month's D23 Expo, 130,000 people will be descending on San Diego this week for the truly great Comic-Con. You see, Comic-Con is the convention and exposition that Disney's D23 Expo only wishes it could be. Comic-Con is such a fan experience that Disney sent people down there to see just how they do it. The Anaheim Convention & Visitors Bureau tried to steal it away fro San Diego. Film and TV studios fall over themselves trying to promote their latest efforts to the masses at Comic-Con. Nobody walks away from the Comic-Con experience without thinking "that was one great time".

In the meantime, I've heard very little build up to this year's D23 Expo as the concept of the D23 exclusive fan club seems to be running out of steam and quickly. It was just the wrong idea at the wrong time. Comic-Con promotes "experience", D23 comes off as another Disney money grab. D23 might have worked in the the late 90's or early 2000's when people really did have some disposable income. For most people, money is tight and the D23 concept of paying Disney an annual membership fee for the rights to pay them more money for "D23 exclusives" is tough to swallow. Just ask Netflix about what happens when people see an opportunistic money grab - "cancel my membership" was a popular phrase in Netflix accounting computers after they increased their subscriptions fees this past week. Will this be the last D23 Expo? If the sustainable numbers aren't there, then I would suspect it would be the last event for Anaheim. They may give it a try in WDW but the logistics just aren't as good back there because the "home office" just isn't up the road like it is in California. I tend to think D23 will morph itself into something else, something that opens up Disney to the masses outside who don't think about Disney and Mickey night and day. I keep hearing the word "Marvel" for some reason.

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