If you’ve been to New York Comic Con the past few years, you most certainly have stopped by Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! booth.
One of the busiest and fan-friendliest booths in the Javits Center, it gives fans of the trading card game a space to gather and talk, trade and, of course, duel.
However, with the global pandemic putting a stop to mass gatherings, conventions and exhibitors have had to adjust to a virtual environment—and Konami is no exception.
“While we would have loved to interact with the community in-person, due to the current pandemic, we had to do things virtually. ReedPOP has done a wonderful job of giving us a digital platform to share some exciting Yu-Gi-Oh! news, products, and activities with our Duelists on a wider platform than normal,” Yumi Hoashi, Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Senior Vice President, and Jason Chai, Marketing Manager for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, told Newsweek in a joint statement. “We are trying to deliver the same experiences that we would normally present at the live, in-person event, by offering our annual Token Cards, Remote Duel Extravaganza tournaments, and exclusive merchandise.”
The virtual format of NYCC/MCM Metaverse has allowed Konami to expand its digital offering to consumers all over the world, not just to those who would have attended the four-day event in person. This approach has helped fans interact and experience the convention from the comfort of their own home.
“Although we miss the face-to-face interaction with our fanbase, we’ve gotten a great response even after Day 1 of NYCC. Our tournament schedule has been robust, and you should take a look at the gallery of our digital tokens,” Hoashi and Chai said.
As NYCC/MCM Metaverse heads into Day 2, the Yu-Gi-Oh! booth continues to be a destination for con-goers, despite the virtual aspect.
A popular product among Yu-Gi-Oh! players? The exclusive play mats. Each NYCC, Konami puts out a brand new exclusive mat to play the TCG on. Usually, the design of the mat reflects a recently released product and this year, with the release of the Rage of Ra booster set, fans can get their hands on a Winged Dragon of Ra mat.
As you’d expect, this product sells out quickly every day, so you’ll want to try to get your hands on one when the shop goes up every day during the event, at 10 a.m. EDT. And while you’re there, you can pick up some of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s latest sets to improve your decks.
This year, Konami is selling more than just cards and accessories—the company’s bringing exclusive merchandise, including shirts, mugs, phone cases and more to its virtual store. If you’re a fan of the first few generations of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll want to check these out—personally, we have our eyes set on the Mark of the Dragons shirt.
Every NYCC, there’s a line wrapped around the show floor, featuring fans looking to get their own Token. This year, duelists can get their own digital token by uploading an image of themselves alone or next to their favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonist.
There will also be remote tournaments for duelists to test their skills against others around the world for exclusive prizes. Whether the prize is exclusive game mats or giant versions of popular cards, there is something for everyone to do at this year’s NYCC Yu-Gi-Oh! virtual booth.
And don’t forget to watch the cast reunion of the first Yu-Gi-Oh! series on October 11, starting at 7:05 p.m. EDT. The stream can be watched below.
Another fan-favorite activity during NYCC is checking out what Konami will bring to Yu-Gi-Oh! in the near future. Whether it’s new card sleeves or the latest structure deck that will change the meta forever, duelists want to see what and when they can get the latest cards.
We asked Robert Boyajian, Associate Product Manager for Yu-Gi-Oh!, via email about which products duelists should look out for.
“For the hardcore TCG fan, definitely look out for Maximum Gold. There are a lot of awesome things about this product: from the new Premium Gold Rares, to special variant artwork, as well as the rerelease of many popular, tournament-level cards. It hits shelves on November 13, so make sure to grab it while you can,” Boyajian said. “The Speed Duel: Battle City Box is perfect for anime fans. You can relive the epic Battle City tournament with enough cards for up to eight players to Duel with. There are brand-new Skill Cards for some of the most popular Duelists from the Battle City arc, as well as a special prize pack that contains Secret Rare versions of iconic and powerful cards. You can expect to see it in stores on December 11.”
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