Security measures were tightened after a scare at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon. Now, it's a year later and the convention has a new name and some changes to their security.
Gone are the lanyards and badges
People attending this year's convention will have wristbands with microchips. Convention organizers say the wristbands will cut down on the long lines that plagued the convention in 2017.
Gone is the former name
The event is now known as the Phoenix Comic Fest. The change came after the San Deigo Comic-Con took legal action against other conventions around the country over the "Comic-Con" name. Phoenix organizers decided to change the name rather than face a court battle.
Gone is the strict ban on some weapon-based props
The convention banned many weapon-based props after the 2017 incident where a real gun was brought into the convention center by a fan that had threatened one of the celebrity guests.
Firearms, replica firearms, explosives and bladed-metal weapons are still banned, but other items that had been on the banned list are now being let back in.
In 2017 lightsabers, made famous in the "Star Wars" franchise, were one of the items banned. After the ban a dispute with a vendor that sold lightsabers on the merchandise floor ended with that vendor being asked to leave the convention and their booth being shutdown.
In 2018, lightsabers are back on the approved list.
Comic Fest released this list of approved props for 2018:
• Sonic Screwdrivers
• Ghostbusters Proton Pack
• Power Rangers Morpher
• Bows unstrung or loosely strung
• Arrows that are not removable from the quiver or have the tips removed
• Shields without sharp edges, and they can be metal
• Lightweight bata made of foam, worbla, or light plastic
• Spikes, barbed-wire, or other accessories made of foam and without sharp edges
• Wolverine claws without sharp edges and not made of metal
• Swords without sharp edges and not made of metal
• Kingdom Hearts Keyblade dull, not made of metal
• Assassin Creed Hidden Blades dull, not made of metal
• Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device
The list should be welcome by cosplayers that now have back many props that were denied last year.
Other security changes include doubling the number of entrances from last year, walk-through metal detectors and only allowing attendees to bring in clear bags.
The official number for people visiting the convention last year was 182,397. Organizers say this number was down from the 2016 number because of security issues and reduction of free passes handed out in 2017.
Organizers hope that moving to wristbands and the new security changes will have the convention running more smoothly and safely.