2018 NYCC Activations

By NCDS and Transmute Jun

Activations have become a big part of New York Comic Con (NYCC).  When I plan my schedule, I make sure to I leave enough time to go through all of the activations.  The lines can vary from 30 minutes to over an hour. When you are committing that much time at a con, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it, I find the answer is almost always, yes!

This year, NYCC had a long list of activations that were both onsite and offsite.  The FoCC Blog team tried to make it to as many as they could. We found they all varied in the opportunities they had to offer.

Mortal Engines an upcoming Peter Jackson film, whose onsite activation let you become part of the trailer.  They dressed participants in steampunk clothing and put them in front of a screen that let them know how they should be reacting.  First, they saw the city coming up, then they had to dodge harpoons, and then hunker together for safety. I loved this activation because it had such creativity and it was fun to see myself in the trailer.  I was already excited about the movie, but this increased the excitement.

Skyscraper, a film starring Dwayne Johnson, offered a virtual reality experience.  They place a virtual machine on a participant’s head and let them get acquainted with it, telling them how to move in different directions.  They then had participants run as fast as they could down the skyscraper and into a window for safety. It was so much fun to watch people moving their arms as fast as they could.  I was surprised to find a lot of people making it into the window, which meant that they were entered into a contest to win $10,000.

Glass, the newest installment of M. Night Shyamalan’s films, lined people up for a psych evaluation.  I was brought into a room and told to sit in a chair, then the lady just stared at me. I instinctively laughed and she wrote, ‘interesting’, and then continued to stare.  She did this for a good 2 minutes and then began to ask me questions about my super abilities and how I would handle situations. Afterward, I was taken to another room where I  found out if I was a villain or a hero. I am proud to say that I am a hero! After the evaluation, they snapped pictures of participants in both rooms and create a poster for them, just like the movie poster.  On the top is the participant sitting in a chair and then their reflection is their alter ego. What a fun idea to bring NYCC attendees into the world of the film!

Good Omens a new series on Amazon, based off the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel, brought participants into an elevator with an attendant inside. Attendees were taken either up or down.  I must not have been a good hero because I was taken down. Below, I found myself in a room with an old car. Attendees could have their pictures taken with the car and then emailed to them.  Our group took turns either smiling out the windshield or pretending we were just hit by the car and that is how we got there. On the way out, participants were handed a pin and journal.

Starz took over the parking lot of Javitz with a recreation of the diner from their show American Gods, based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, and a recreation of a cabin to represent the show Outlander, whose characters journey to a brave new world in the upcoming season.  The show is based off a series of novels written by Diana Gabaldon.  While visiting these replica sights, Starz did not disappoint.  They had drawings for autographs, T-shirts, buttons, tote bags, luggage tags, as well as specially created fragrances.  

Another activation that attracted many attendees was the Audible/Pottermore Publishing booth, located on the North Concourse of the Javits. Attendees were able to select a glass vial with a ‘memory’ of one of their favorites Harry Potter characters (choices included Harry himself, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape or Lord Voldemort). Once inside, they could place the vial inside a pensieve (a magical device from the Wizarding World that allows others to experience someone’s memories) and listen to a scene from an audiobook relevant to that character. The experience was enhanced with visuals on a screen, as well as a slightly creepy magical atmosphere. Upon exiting, participants were handed a download code for a free Harry Potter audiobook, and were given the option of a photo op to commemorate the experience. They were also allowed to keep the vial, which made for a terrific souvenir! This was a fun and memorable way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter novels being published in the US.

While most activations at NYCC were onsite, one of the major offsite activations was put on by Reflector Entertainment, to promote their new Unknown 9 universe. The core of this universe is the Leap Year Society, whose purpose is to investigate supernatural mysteries and uncover 9 mythical books that purportedly contain all of the world’s knowledge. Attendees who participated in this event were inducted into the Leap Year Society, which included a multi-part ceremony, being lead about while blindfolded, and interacting with current members, while participating in a number of different activities to integrate themselves into the circle. The event concluded with a surprising scene where the newly-inducted members helped a woman in a coma gain contact with her consciousness, which existed in a different reality. The experience was intriguing, and participants left with a desire to learn more about the Unknown 9 universe.

Certainly, NYCC had a wide variety of activations to offer its attendees. Did you go to the activations?  Tells us about your experience on the FoCC.

Here are some extra photos!