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TLS at Comic Con, Part I - Inside the Booth!

SDCC 2019 is in the books.  It's a long journey; no wonder there’s a void, a little emptiness the week after.  We’re busy all year; we have deadlines, releases, timed releases, retailer exclusives, set dates – a smorgasbord of frenetic activity played to the cacophonic, yet harmonic tune of everything and all things into the stew pot at once.  And the stew still tastes good…better than good…great!  We have no downtime, there isn't much space to reflect, let alone acknowledge that the only option is forward without a second to waste.  So, why the void?  A 5 day pop culture love fest in the middle of July, just five days, 360 days shy of the balance of the year…why the emptiness for a seemingly innocuous blip in time?  I’m slammed this week pulling together deliveries for Aggretsuko, and My Hero Academia.  Also delivering a compendium of content, updates, commercials….the whole enchilada, as they say.   There is no down time, no time to be down, no down when everything is up, and when nothing is down…then why the SDCC blues?   The following year’s SDCC is being conceived not so long after the current year’s SDCC is finished.  SDCC is the only project we work on for nearly a year’s time, a full lap around the sun – through all the seasons, nearly all the months, in every day there is a small action dedicated to the 5 day summer crazed carnival of pop culture delights, banked on the sunkissed bum of So Cal’s San Diego Bay.  TLS in its best year delivered 10 lines, although each line consists of multiple populations, upwards to 66 skus in it’s most compulsive form…lil’ ole us have out performed, if quantifying by sku count, some mighty industry giants…and all things said, all things underscored, to make San Diego a reality, a destination, a raison d’etre, TLS concocts nearly 20 individual, completely unique skus of the micro run variety.  Essentially 19 different production runs, mixed in addition all the complexities- stickers, tees, Fan Jam, totes, shopping bags, schedules, hotel rooms, travel arrangements, rentals – “and the kitchen sink”, as they too also say. 

It’s momentous, mountainous, Everest-like…this 5 day event, a titan amongst the lesser, and defenseless microbes rowing our way across the earth’s surface.  The baby is born, similarly near the same cycle as my own embryonic experience, carried through the Fall, and Winter of ’73, to breath my first breath of air in the summer of ’74.  The impact for feeding this baby for nearly a year is nothing short of…well…impactful!  And so is its post partum.   For a year’s time we’ve toiled to make sure we can deliver a fan experience worth noble acts of participation, to set a tango if only to be so lucky to have a partner to tango with.  TLS’ showing at SDCC has historically been the toran, and rune for what the year brings.  It’s no wonder why we invest so heartedly, in which “heart” is the key, and invest, merely our great emotional currency.  We aim to turn you on to the TLS vision.

SDCC is filled with big, bright shiny lights, inside, outside, up, down, all around.  It's a miracle TLS can find it's voice through the Marrakesh markets of all things and then some.  Not just lights but sounds – “booooom, grooooowl, sparkle, pop, crash”  - it’s as if ILM is having indigestion, or a barf off with Dolby, but all over the convention!   In the Marvel, Star Wars, Batman, Celebrity appearing, Hall H loving climate, transfixing laser beams of hypotonic powers to the Jonestown Jonesies, how on earth is TLS going to cut through?   We don't have a hypnotic laserbeam!  Or do we?  It (SDCC and all of its options) seems like an exercise Sisyphus would envy, but the years are increasingly becoming different; a different awareness, acceptance, enjoyment, and participation with the TLS Brand vision, all because of the growing TLS Army. 

I was asked, “What's different this year, is it the range of licenses”?  I don't think so?  We had Turtles at it’s prime, MOTU just two years ago, Predator (a fan favorite), Xenomorphs (another fan favorite), Power Rangers when they still had mucho powers, Mega Man, Street Fighter, My Little Pony (still when Pony was king), Horror (The Freddy/Jason/Pennywise SDCC exclusives were fire) – TLS has always had some of the best selection of licenses, some of the best exclusives (IMO) – I couldn't say that having Leonardo is less attractive than Stewie?  They're both cool, but we all know TMNT fans are mad about their Turtles!   So what is it?  How did TLS cut through the static, to sell out of nearly all exclusives on the floor, some in record time, and more on the website?  I think it's the magic of 10!  10 years pounding the TLS message, of fine tuning Action Vinyls, of valuing the Fan Experience, the want to create unique, dynamic, thoughtful, energetic, and imaginative products, but under the parabolic timeline of 10 years, and the undying desire to turn you guys on, and include like minded folks who want something cool, and unique!  I think 10 years later we’ve hit that new level…we leveled up (queue the Zelda music)!  TLS is like that Sub Pop Brand who is now getting play on mainstream radio dominated by Aerosmith (you can tell I came of age in the 90’s, right?  Lol).    TLS is cutting through, we’re cutting through the static, we’re bringing in new fans, new folks wanting to have a fun and engaging experience, and it’s all because of the core TLS Army who has believed in TLS since Day 1.  The success of SDCC 2019 is your achievement!  Thank you!

I’m shaking off the void, which is more just an exhale (zephyr-like in expulsion).   A much needed exhale, to put a bow on this fantastic chapter, and to open the sails to new winds, a new energy, and more of it!  Here's to the rest of the year.  Thank you SDCC 2019!  Thank you TLS Army!  Thank you to all the new faces, welcome to our family, our brand of fun, jump into the deep end, the water is fine, and we’ll make sure you swim, just like Michael Phelps, powering through your 400meter into an imaginative Action Vinyls experience!

An unequivocal and Special thanks to Team TLS – our staff is the best in the biz, we do more with a little than those who have a lot….I’m thrilled, and profoundly proud to be a part of Team TLS.

Enjoy the Video, a look at SDCC 2019 through TLS’ eyes.  Stay tuned for new blog updates: Fan Jam wrap up, and how life and art collide, via Action Vinyls and Cosplay!  I’ll have those up in the next couple of days!  Carpe diem!


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