San Diego Comic-Con International 2016 badges went on sale Saturday morning and sold out at superhero speed.
Within an hour of online sales opening up, all tickets to the pop culture and comic book extravaganza were completely sold out, Comic-Con organizers confirmed via Twitter.
Aspiring attendees who weren't able to snag a badge were none too pleased.
Many took to Twitter to air their grievances.
"When will you give special treatment to locals?" one user asked on the thread following Comic-Con's Twitter announcement of the sold-out event.
"I've tried for 4 years. This is crap. I give up." griped another person who was unable to purchase a badge.
"Six years here. I know the feeling," another person chimed in.
"I've been up since 7 a.m. for the past 3 years and you keep "selling out." I call #shenanigans. Thanks for ruining my day," tweeted another person.
Comic-Con organizers officially put badges on the market beginning shortly after 9 a.m., during a highly-anticipated time window known as Open Registration. In order to participate in Open Registration and buy that badge, the Comic-Con website said you had to have a valid and confirmed Comic-Con Member ID that was created before Feb. 11.
As usual, Comic-Con’s online waiting room, known as EPIC, opened for customers at 8 a.m. Saturday. There, those who waiting to buy badges had a chance to authorize their registration codes ahead of that big 9 a.m. badge sales time.
Customers were moved, at random, from the online EPIC waiting room to a registration session where they could then buy their badges, organizers said.
Of course, as expected, the event sold out extremely fast.
Many fans were upset over the random lottery-style process of moving users from the online waiting room to the badge sales area, saying their ability to get a badge depended solely on luck. This process has been used by Comic-Con during badge sales for several years.
"Lottery picking is honestly the worst idea. First come first serve is the best way," said one person on Comic-Con's Twitter thread.
"Get rid of the 'random' lottery & more people would have an actual chance of attending! Don't get pple's hopes up for no reason," said another person.
"This system is all kinds of messed up," griped another.
Ahead of the badge frenzy, Comic-Con organizers released detailed Open Registration instructions on this section of Comic-Con’s website. Also released: this instructional 7-minute video (or below) on how to maneuver your way through the Open Registration process.
More badge-buying tips were available on Comic-Con’s TOUCAN blog.
Organizers warned that those who wanted to attend the event needed to act quickly, as there were far more eligible attendees for the Open Registration window than badges available.
“You can increase your chances of obtaining a badge by reading all of the instructions carefully and having your personal information ready on the day of the sale,” the website stated.
Comic-Con 2016 runs July 21 through July 24, with Preview Night set for July 20. Daily badges range from $40 to $55 for adults, depending on the day you’d like to attend, and $20 to $27 for junior badges (ages 13-17), active military members and seniors. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
And, just like that, the countdown to the colorful comic and entertainment spectacular begins.
Comic-Con was born in 1970 in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in the heart of San Diego. Over the decades, the “little event that could” has grown into a behemoth, taking over the Convention Center, neighboring hotels and downtown San Diego for a long weekend each summer.
Comic-Con’s fervent fans typically attend the convention in elaborate costumes, transforming the city into a metropolis straight out of the pages of fantasy and science fiction. The event has also become famous for sneak peeks of major studio movies and popular TV shows, as well as a steady stream of celebrity sightings.