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Comic-Con is all about bringing fans close to the artists and properties they love - after waiting in line.

The lineups began as soon as the San Diego Convention Center opened its doors. Fans with four-day passes to the sold-out pop-culture spectacular gained early admission to the showroom floor Wednesday night, where they were the first to see a 10-foot-tall Transformer, a Lego Spider-Man and a life-sized, road-ready Hot Wheels car inspired by Darth Vader.

Some planned to wait in line overnight for a chance to attend the most popular film and TV presentations, which begin Thursday. But first, they queued up inside the convention center to buy limited-edition toys released just for the festival.

One collector said that selling the coveted toys on eBay would fund his whole trip.

There's a lot to see at this year's Comic-Con. USA TODAY's Carly Mallenbaum and Brian Truitt go on a walking tour.

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