AVOX Sneak Peek 2021 – 2 Days of Fun Yet A Bit Flawed Underneath The Shiny Exterior

Written by VampireHorde

To the readers of this fine blog, thank you for clicking here and reading this! A shout-out to GetMoreXP for allowing me to do a special guest write-up on the soon-to-be-legendary Voice Actor event known as AVOX. I’ll keep my review to the point and stick to the juicy details. Again, this is a review ONLY of the AVOX Sneak Peek event, not the actual LA Comic-Con itself. Ready?

1) So how was AVOX at LA Comic-Con? Did everything go smoothly?

Everything went better than I expected. It definitely was a complete 180-degree turn compared to the disastrous Anime Expo 2019. Inside the West Hall, I wasn’t so enthused at the small space that they had (it only took up maybe 10% of the entire hall) but it’s a start! There were 25+ tables for all the voice actors and none of them were assigned. Basically, if a table was empty, a voice actor could use it. That being said, not all the tables ended up being used so there was a ton of empty space. Also, in terms of traffic, the AVOX booths had a few big lines but weren’t so jam-packed like at Anime Expo. I’m guessing because this was a comic book convention and not an anime convention? I’d like to think these VAs have way more fans.

2) AVOX advertised over 35+ voice actors on social media. Did they all show up?

Nearly 95% of the voice actors that were advertised showed up but not all of them did meet and greets. Several notable VAs that were at the con DENIED the non-VIP fans the chance for autographs while everyone else put on a brave COVID-free face and met their adoring fans in the West Hall. Some of them had their valid reasons while others just stayed silent. Hopefully, AVOX in July 2022 won’t disappoint on that front otherwise, why add their names to the roster?

3) Were you allowed to get anything signed non-VIP? And were the prices expensive?

Outside of the separate $169 VIP signings, any voice actor that was at a signing table in the West Hall charged and signed anything you had for them. Yes, including multiple Funko Pops! The majority of the autographs were within the $20-$40 range, so they weren’t too pricey. The highest autograph cost was $50 for the Resident Evil ladies.

Basically, getting autographs from your favorite voice actor(s) was an easy transaction with no drama. Just walk up to the actor, pay the fee, get your autograph(s), tell some jokes, and BOOM…on to the next actor. In my case, I easily ended up getting over 30+ autographs without breaking a sweat. If getting autographs is this easy, then the AVOX event next July should go off without a hitch and it will be the Wrestlemania of voice actor conventions. I dare you to prove me wrong!

One thing of note: Todd Haberkorn had tweeted to me on social media (see above) that he wouldn’t be doing any signings since he was going to be busy co-producing the AVOX event. Well, he changed his mind and ended up having multiple signings of his own (accompanied by a long line of fans each time). I guess he figured those huge gaps of free time in between his panels really were better spent meeting the fans! Wise choice, Mr Haberkorn.

4) Surprise guests! Who were the surprise guests?

A couple of voice actors showed up at the last minute including names that weren’t listed on the original announcement in November. Surprise guests included Bekka Prewitt, Nicole Tompkins, Maggie Robertson, Stephanie Panisello, David Hayter, Josh Keaton, Griffin Burns, and Lisa Ortiz. All of these surprise VAs did meet and greets with everyone.

5) How about the panels? Were the panels any fun?

How should I know! If I’m spending time getting autographs then I’m sure as hell not paying attention and listening to any of the panels. Just give me my autographs and leave me alone!!!!

Okay, I lied. I attended one panel which was the Persona 25th anniversary panel. But only because it had the Persona cast on stage. And, yes, it was a fun time for the most part.

6) Did the people standing in line get turned away after a certain time period by the voice actors?

NOT AT ALL. Anyone that wanted an autograph got one (or in my case, multiple) and I’m sure everyone walked away happy. Yes, including the FUNKO scalpers enthusiasts and their copious amounts of Funko boxes. I was amazed how quickly the lines for most of the actors whizzed by in a flash.

7) Was there anything about the AVOX event that annoyed you?

Just one: the VIP signings. I felt they were unnecessary since most of the VAs were already in the West Hall doing their own signings.

To clarify, the $169 AVOX VIP signings was a new feature introduced at LACC where you could choose between four different groups of 12-15 assigned voice actors and get their autographs on a single item of your choice or on a specially printed custom poster plus a 1-minute greeting with each actor.

The problem with something like this is that it was never made clear what kind of single item you could bring. Can it be a Funko? Or only prints? Secondly, a 1-minute greeting? Not exactly enough time for a relevant conversation other than, “Hi, you were great in so-and-so anime/game/movie!” And based on social media posts, it didn’t look the VIP signings were jam-packed as the lines at the AVOX booths (some even looked empty). Plus if you’re like me and had more than one item for all these actors, this VIP event just wasn’t worth the $169 cost.

If AVOX is reading this, let’s not do the VIP signings like this at the next AVOX. Let’s find a better and convenient way to spend $169 without restrictions.

8) Lastly, what should AVOX change for their July 2022 event?

In my humble honest opinion, AVOX should cut the panels down to 1 panel per voice actor. SERIOUSLY. Some of the voice actors had 3-4 straight panels in a day with NO time for meet and greets at all! That’s a serious middle finger to the fans that came to meet these people especially ME. For the AVOX event in July 2022, the voice actors should spend more time meeting fans with an occasional panel/workshop in between. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about? Showing the fans some love? I get that panels are a necessity at cons but to give an actor that many in one day is nuts!

All in all, the AVOX Sneak Peek at LA Comic Con 2021 was a fun yet flawed 2 days. It was a shiny Lamborghini with the engine of a mini-van. And now that the producers had two days to test the waters, they should know that we the fans want to meet the voice actors up close and personal, not just watch them talk on some big stage for three hours. Personal interaction is what we want! Give us the time to meet the actors with no distractions (and a bigger space) and we will praise you for it.

Well, that’s my review of AVOX Sneak Peek 2021! I hope this gave an idea of how next year’s AVOX event will go if you plan to attend. I have to thank my con buddy Tommy Doughty who was with me both days as we stalked waited for all these voice actors to show up so that we could be in front of the line at their table. We rocked it!

And a big thanks to the following voice actors: Bekka Prewitt for the big hug, Nicole Tompkins for the 50% discount, Erica Lindbeck for the freebies and somehow magically remembering my name (trust me, I prefer not to be memorable), Erika Harlacher for finally signing more than two items, and Cherami Leigh for being a BlackPink fan. And lest we forget, a big thanks to Keith and Valerie Arem for using LACC as their testing grounds! They didn’t have to do it but they did and I owe them a lot for it.

And lastly, thanks to GetMoreXP for allowing me to write my silly review of this 2-day event!

PROS:

–The AVOX area was easy to navigate and meeting the actors was a breeze unlike the LA Comic Con autograph hall on the other side that was overpacked and used a ticketing system.

–Voice actors signed any/everything you gave them + selfies. Even the Funko Pop resellers fanatics with their boxloads of Funkos got their stuff signed.

–Prices for each actor were affordable except the Resident Evil ladies. (Boy, were they expensive!)

— Most of the voice actors had an allotted time in between panels and they took that time for meet and greets. It wasn’t mandatory but it shows that the voice actors wanted to meet the people patiently waiting for them.

–Todd Haberkorn handing out mochi-nuts to the other vendors next to the AVOX booths.

–DC Douglas and his $100 asking price to Twerk.

–Erica Lindbeck and her endless amounts of Diet Coke. How does Billy Kametz handle it??!

CONS:

–VIP Signings just didn’t seem necessary and the restrictions for it caused so much confusion.

–Too many panels for each voice actor! Many of them had non-stop panels all day leaving little-to-no room for meet and greets. AVOX realizes that we do want to MEET the voice actors, right? Not just hear them talk on a stage all day?

–Meet and greet schedules were all over the place. A lot of the voice actors weren’t certain of their meet and greet times, so there was a lot of guessing and constantly watching social media for updates. Certainly kept me and my con buddy on our toes all day.

–Crowds for certain actors were pretty long and since the space was so small, it caused a lot of traffic and congestion between tables.

–Not enough credit card readers! Several voice actors had no credit card readers and had to use Venmo or Zelle or PayPal. Aren’t credit card readers less than $20 bucks? C’MON, PEOPLE!!!

–The AVOX photo studio. Did anyone even use that $60 contraption??

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