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Friday, November 29, 2019

DesignerCon 2019: Review (Part 1 of 2)

By Eric Harris

8.3 miles of arts, toys, collectables and more!!! DesignerCon is one of the biggest names in the Southern California design scene. The Things To Do In LA team spent two days exploring the nooks and crannies of booths and exhibits from 700 vendors and 300+ artists.

DesignerCon is a multi-genre, multi-disciplinary design-related convention. Envision an expensive Designer Toys and collectibles swap-meet. You’ll find $5 enamel pins next to $20,000 drip art robot sculptures adjacent to prints of sloths decorated in the style of Mexican wrestlers. The fun is in the sheer volume and variety of wacky apparel, plush dolls, printed art work, sculptures, fantasy taxidermy, video game art, tiki culture, 3D printing, and good old-fashioned vinyl and plastic toys.

Artists design trends included a notable 1980s and early 1990s USA media influence. Bob Ross, the Gremlins, ET, the Goonies, VHS cassettes, and Japanese manga/anime Akira themes were rampant, much like motorcycle gangs roaming the streets of Neo-Tokyo. We found more Golden Girls merchandise than ever before. Weird! Who buys this stuff?

Sneakers and fantasy taxidermy were some of the biggest surprises of the convention. Sneakers were everywhere this year. Everywhere! There were custom painted shoes, shoe art exhibits, shoe toys, shoe painting kits, free shoe cleaning, and even DesignerCon exclusive sneaker wipes! Also hot in the footwear category were UV-light reactive designs, which will earn you a ton of design points if you spend time under blacklights or impromptu crime scene investigations.

The Anaheim Convention Center, adjacent to Disneyland, is a comfortable venue and offers easy parking. Somewhat centrally located within the Greater-LA area, the Anaheim Convention Center provides travelers from outside the region with multiple airport options and a wide variety of lodging choices. However, on-site dining choices or restaurants within close walking distance are limited. Beware — food truck selections can be hit or miss, and you may experience long waits.

TTDILA fully recommends DesignerCon. If you enjoy the genre of Designer/Art Toys and have a particular interest in vinyl toys and collectables, DesignerCon is worth the trip. Expect to spend a complete day on your feet if you want to explore all the booths or attend artist signing sessions. We classify this event as manageable to do in one day; however, it may be more enjoyable to attend over two or more days. For reference, the TTDILA team spent 13 hours on-location over two days (8.3 miles total walking distance) to adequately cover the event.

Standard tickets will get you through the show. However, the optional VIP upgrade adds flexibility with early access to the exhibit halls on Friday evening and Saturday morning. If you’re hunting for limited edition merchandise, or want to skip the Saturday main entrance queue, consider the VIP route.

November 22- 24, 2019
Anaheim convention Center
$30 - $80

Check out our Part 2 coverage for highlights from the event!

You know the drill... Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Station!
TTDILA saves Southern California from boredom!