We stayed at my folk’s house a final night before driving to Pasadena on Wednesday morning. The plan was to casually make our way into the Los Angeles area by early afternoon.
Of course, there are many Targets and Wal-Marts on the way along I-10 to check for early toy releases. Plus we had budgeted a little time for these little stops along the way.
The first Wal-Mart had the Revenge of the Fallen themed limited edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s. They aren’t nearly as bad as they sound and taste more peanut buttery than strawberry.
Just after crossing the California border, we saw a new Target off the side of the road which we backtracked to on a hunch. The hunch ended up working because I was able to finally pick up the voyager class Vector Prime, and at a discount no less. I had never seen this figure in all my searching, and it was nice picking him up. My classics had be relegated to storage bins but it was probably more sound to get this guy now that at a possible markup in the con’s dealer room.
A little bit further down near Indio we came across another Target that we felt lucky about. Fortune smiled on us and it led to more pre-release RotF toys and I was able to pick up 3 more deluxes: Sideswipe, Rampage, and Breakaway. I really didn’t expect to find any more of these guys before the convention. I thought we’d just take the occasional break by stopping for a drink at these stores, but these were an added bonus.
Sideswipe is definitely the coolest looking of these three, and his package was opened shortly after leaving the store while we were still driving. He has a very sleek look and looks to be an interesting character that they added to the film. He isn’t quite like his old G1 self, and Sunstreaker is nowhere to be found, but I look forward to see what they do with him.
Having hit the outskirts of town, we decided to stop visiting stores and just head to the hotel to drop off our stuff and then head out to an early dinner. The menu for this first day of the trip was Pink’s Hot Dogs.
Last time we visited the LA area, we tried to hit up Pink’s for a quick bite. Little did we realize on that trip it was midday on a weekend and the line was around the building and appeared to wrap several times.
However this time on an early Wednesday afternoon it was much different. We parked along a nearby street and got into a line of about 15. A few minutes later we had one plain dog, one Brooklyn Pastrami-Swiss Cheese Dog, fries, onion rings, and two bottled drinks.
The food was above average, with the onion rings standing out and the fries being fairly bland. It was worth visiting just for the experience and would recommend it if you ever visit Hollywood.
After Pink’s we tried a few more local Targets located on the way back to the hotel to no avail.
That evening is when the real festivities began though as it was time to get into line to pre-register. Soon I would have my first ever convention exclusive toys…
BotCon toy count to date = 14