Hot Topic SDCC Contest

Hot Topic is hosting a contest to bring 1 winner and a guest to San Diego Comic Con in July. Tell them who your Wonder Woman is, and the winner will receive the following:

  • Airfare for 2
  • 3 night hotel stay
  • 2 SDCC badges for all four days of the convention
  • Winner will have a chance to walk the runway at the Her Universe Fashion Show. The fashion company and lifestyle brand currently has a Wonder Woman collection at Hot Topic. Check it out here.

 

The contest runs from now until June 13, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. Residents of the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada (excluding Quebec) 16 years of age and up are welcome to enter. Head to the entry page here.

General Assembly SDCC Contest

With Open Registration out of the way as of this past weekend, hopes of attending one of the largest geek conventions in the US are pretty slim. BUT that doesn’t mean it should be completely lost. In past years, I’ve come across a few contests that send their lucky winners to the convention, with the addition of a few perks. I will post about them as they come up. This one is courtesy of General Assembly, which specializes in tech classes (e.g. coding, marketing, design, data, etc.). Here’s what the prize includes:

  • A $1,000 airline credit 
  • Three nights accommodation 
  • Two badges to SDCC
  • A $200 transportation credit 
  • A $500 cosplay credit 
  • A $200 credit toward any General Assembly class or workshop
  • A GA Swag Pack

You can enter the contest here before Sunday, April 23rd. Good luck!

SDCC 2017 Open Registration is Coming

I don’t think I’ve mentioned anything about SDCC here in a while. I’ve already got my badges locked in for this year (my 9th, to be exact. Crazy!), but for anyone who wasn’t able to participate in Returning Registration, your time comes tomorrow morning. If you’re not sure how to prepare for the madness that will be you staring into the “blue spinning circle of doom” on your computer AKA the online waiting room, then please check out the post down below. It will walk you through the process. If this is your Saturday morning plan, may the odds be ever in your favor.

 

San Diego Comic Con 2017 hopefuls! This Saturday, we’re going to knock one more lottery off of the looooong list of lotteries that has become…

via SDCC 2017: Open Registration Guide — Nerdophiles

Sanrio Small Gift Crate – Friendship

The second crate for Sanrio’s collaboration with Loot Crate is Friendship. Sanrio was founded with the purpose of social communication. They wanted their brand to connect people, nurture friendships, and bring happiness to the world. This makes complete sense since their products constantly bring smiles to those that have them, and also when they share them with others. I received 7 items in this crate. All of them are exclusive to this subscription and are absolutely adorable.

 

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What’s inside:

Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel Mamepuchi Plush Set – These two make the cutest couple. And those outfits! I’m not an avid collector of these Tsum Tsum-like toys, but I’ll consider them an exception.

Hello Kitty & Mimmy Letter Set – The one thing I loved bringing back from any trip to the Sanrio store was stationary. This set comes with a writing pad, die cut pad, stickers, and envelopes. It’s everything you need to get your snail mail on.

Little Twin Stars Infinity Scarf – A great thing about this subscription is that it includes wearable items. Even better when they come in my favorite color (yes, I love black). The material of the scarf is lightweight, and the foiled design adds a nice touch.

Little Twin Stars Stackable Mugs – I have a small mug collection at home, and these will be an awesome addition to it. Although there aren’t any warnings written on the box on how to use them, I’ll play it safe and only hand wash them and not use them in the microwave.

My Melody Charm and Friendship Trinket – This exclusive charm can be attached to the Hello Kitty key chain from the first crate or used by itself. Each crate shipped included a small tape dispenser (colors and characters varied). Funny thing is I also received the same one a while back from a friend.

Patty & Jimmy Enamel Pin Set – According to their bio on Sanrio’s website, Patty & Jimmy are from Kansas city. Patty is the athletic one and loves playing sports, while Jimmy is more of the nerdy type and enjoys studying, chess, and playing board games. This 3 inch pin set is the largest I own (I also like collecting pins).

This subscription costs $39.99 USD (includes shipping) before tax, includes merchandise worth $75, and crates are shipped within the US and also internationally to select countries 4 times per year. Subscribers can choose from 3 different subscription plans. For more information on those options and to learn more about the Small Gift crate, visit Loot Crate’s site.

WonderCon & SDCC Badge Giveaway

Returning Registration for this year’s SDCC will be upon us on Saturday. While others who are not eligible are most likely anxious for Open Registration, which is expected to happen some time next month, you might have the opportunity to increase your chances of snagging a coveted badge, if ever so slightly. WonderCon is holding a giveaway via Facebook for badges to their upcoming event and also SDCC in July. Entry is simple, and possibly due to lack of info, open internationally. Deadline for eligibility is Thursday, March 16. Head to the SDCC Unofficial Blog’s contest hub for more information on how to enter.

The Nintendo Switch Preview Tour Visits SF

Nintendo will be releasing its latest console tomorrow. In preparation, The Nintendo Switch Preview Tour made a few stops at select US cities. Attendees to the event were able to get hands on with the console before anyone else. The San Francisco event took place last weekend and ran for 3 days. The first 2 were open to invite-only attendees, while the public was welcome on a first-come, first serve basis for the last. I was still a bit skeptical about whether or not I wanted to invest in the Switch. It wouldn’t be keeping certain aspects of past consoles like the Wii and Wii U (e.g. Netflix streaming and free online multiplayer service). Would this event convince me otherwise? Let’s find out.

Here’s some info about the Switch console:

  • Easily transition between home and mobile play using the portable handheld and Joy-Con controllers. Think of the latter as mini sized Wii controllers, except these can slide into either the handheld or the Joy-Con grip. They can also be used individually with select Switch games.
  • Play solo or with friends. If all of your group owns the console, each of them (up to 8) can be linked so you can have game time anytime and anywhere.
  • 32GB of internal memory can also be expanded via micro SD card.
  • Battery life can last up to 6 hours (varies depending on software and usage conditions)

Since I registered for the first day of the event, I was among the first group of people to see the Nintendo Switch up close. Heck yeah I was excited! After a quick scan of my ticket and handed a freebie, I was on my way. A few staff members were lined up on each side of a lit up catwalk of sorts that the attendees walked through. It led to the main stage where the host kept everyone informed about different activities taking place. The playable demos included games that would be released the same day as the Switch, along with ones that will be released within the next few months and later this year.

After circling the space, I headed to a play area located next to the stage and tried out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (out April 28) . I got to use the console as the portable handheld, which felt similar to the Wii U, except less bulky. Having the joy sticks of the Joy-Con controllers on opposite locations needed getting used to. I also didn’t get all of the button functions since the staff member explained them too quickly before I started playing. Aside from that, this was just as fun to play compared to previous Mario Kart games. The graphic output on the handheld was nice as well.

 

I was going to walk around some more afterward until I realized it was time for my demo session with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Tickets with different time slots were handed out for attendees to play a 20 minute demo of the game. This was played using the Joy-Con grip, which feels like a traditional style controller. I didn’t get to do too much in game, but I did get the gist of how the controls work. And the graphics are amazing. This is one of the games that I’d look forward to purchasing alongside the console. That is, if I decide to. More on that later.

 

Here are the other games that I played at the Preview Tour:

Splatoon 2 (releases Summer 2017) – Being a fan of the first Splatoon game, I was happy to check this one out. This version introduces new battle areas, characters, and weapons. Players can also take advantage of local and multiplayer battles using the Switch in either TV, handheld, or tabletop mode. This is another game I’d love to add on to my collection.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (release date TBD) – This game is also adding more characters to their lineup, 2 in particular being Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. Choose either classic pixel-art or updated graphics to customize how you play. Can’t take down a certain CPU player? You can now team up with a friend to show them who’s boss.

Puyo Puyo Tetris (releases April 25) – I wasn’t familiar with Puyo Puyo (think of match 3/more games like Candy Crush) prior to playing this, but I quickly got the hang of it and had a blast playing a few rounds. Do your best to clear as many lines as possible to beat either the CPU or other players. Up to 4 can participate for a competitive gaming experience like no other. This is a must have for any fan of puzzle games.

 

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Switch swag, FTW.

Although there was still time left before the next wave of attendees were let in, I felt confident checking off what I wanted to do at the event. I was handed even more goodies on my way out. Overall, this was quite the experience, and I had an awesome time trying out this console. I will definitely consider purchasing one, but probably not until some time after its release. The last leg of the Nintendo Switch Preview Tour will take place in Los Angeles this weekend between March 3 – March 5. For those of you in the area, I highly recommend that you check it out. More info about the Nintendo Switch Preview Tour can be found here.

Do you plan on purchasing the Nintendo Switch? Sound off in the comments.

CES 2017

A few weeks ago, I made my annual trip to Las Vegas for the international Consumer Electronics Show (aka CES). This year marks their 50th anniversary of the show, and I also was acknowledged for my attendance to the event for more than 5 years. It didn’t really occur to me until they handed me a 5+ year ribbon for my badge that I’ve been going to this for that long. As with previous years, my main goal was to see what was new at my favorite booths (Sony and Polaroid), and also check out some upcoming products from other brands.

My CES Highlights

Here are a few products that drew my interest at the show. It was a combo of things I had found out about prior to the event, and what I happened to come across during my time there.

Sony Brings on the Bass, Cancels the Noise

Sony is by far one booth that I always have to visit. Ever since I had my first Walkman cassette player, I’ve been long devoted to them for their audio devices. Attendees were able to test out their upcoming Extra Bass line of portable speakers. These range from a 3-inch model to the larger XB models that are waterproof and have Bluetooth capability. Battery life for these speakers ranges from 16-24 hours. The larger models also have lighting effects that can either pulse along with the rhythm of the music being played or be placed in strobe mode.

There was an area of the booth made to look like the inside of an airplane. A new prototype of noise cancelling headphones was available to check out. I wish I had made note of the model number, because they were pretty amazing. While listening to music, you could press down on one side of the headphones to temporarily pause the song and be able to hear someone talking or engage in conversation. Once the pressed side is released, the song and the noise cancelling function resumes.

Polaroid – 80 Years and Still Rolling Out the Gear

As CES celebrated its 50th year running, Polaroid hit its own milestone. Their line of products has long expanded from the first instant cameras. It now includes smart watches, wireless security cameras, 3D printers and pens, and even drones. Soon to release this year is their Pop camera. The nostalgic 3×4 instant camera gets a well deserved upgrade with the addition of a touch screen, 20 megapixel resolution, and filters, just to list a few of its specs. If you’re a fan of the brand or instant cameras in general, this is one to look out for.

Honorable Mentions: These Gadgets Deserve Props!

The following are products that I looked for after seeing posts about them via social media. They have also received acknowledgement and/or have been awarded distinction among the best of CES for this year.

Razer’s Project Valerie: Not Your Average Gaming Laptop

The PC gaming company Razer featured this as one of their 2 anticipated  product prototypes for the show. This is the first gaming laptop to include a triple 4K screen display. When closed, it’s also comparable to a regular 17 inch laptop. Whether used for gaming or general computer multitasking, this is a PC user’s dream come true.

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Willow Pump, A Wearable Breast Pump

When I first mentioned this product, friends were quick to ask if I was hinting at something. No, I’m not with or am planning on having a child, yet. To be extremely honest, I was drawn to this device mainly because I have seen the scenarios one too many times. By that I mean I’ve had co-workers, classmates, and friends either excuse themselves to pump in the restroom or do so while hiding out in their cars. Pumping devices generally aren’t very pleasing to the eye with the tubes, cords, and often bulky appearance altogether. But imagine being able to provide nourishment for your child without having to strap something on or deal with the cords and tubes getting in the way. This product allows moms to do just that, except hands free. More info about this awesome product can be found on their website.

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Super Retro Boy Is The Game Boy Savior

Are you like me and have a small/big collection of previously released Nintendo Game Boy devices? If so, you’ve probably noticed some minor differences between the game cartridges made for them. The folks at retro-bit have developed a gaming device similar to that of this portable console that will allow users to play all Game Boy games on it without the use of any additional adapter. And the MSRP for it is pretty reasonable. This is one to add to my wishlist!

And that’s my 2017 CES experience in a nutshell. If you’ve kept up with news about the show, let me know if there was anything that sparked your interest.