(PCM) Immersing yourself in the world of Marvel, pretending that you are a beloved super hero and battling the bad guys could just be the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.
That’s what Marvel comic book lovers and movie fans, gamers, families and others are doing when they head to the Philadelphia tour of “The Marvel Experience: The World’s First Hyper-Reality Tour,” at Lincoln Financial Field through Sunday, July 5.
The creative brainchild of Hero Ventures’ Doug Schaer and Rick Licht, The Marvel Experience is an immersive, attraction, that features the world’s first-ever traveling 360-degree, 3-D stereoscopic full-Dome theater.
There is also a state-of-the-art motion ride, rock climbing wall, a laser maze, motion rides, holograms, and a “training course” that offers the opportunity for Marvel fans to actually feel like they are part of the adventure. All of this is done at the visitor’s own pace.
Of course, Marvel comics, is 100 percent the experience. “They saw the vision in what we presented and made sure that we captured the essence of these characters,” he said. “They are extremely protective of everything that bears the Marvel name.”
“The three words that are most used during our exit pools are fun, overwhelming and awesome, and we couldn’t ask for three better words,” Licht explained during the recent event opening. “I want this experience to encompass all three for everyone.”
According to Licht, once the technology for the show emerged the next step was to create a story to enhance it.
“When I first talked about this with friends and business associates, they thought I was a bit crazy. Flash forward a few years, and I had 28 family members and friends at the Dallas opening and 30 in San Diego and I could feel the love in the room.”
As agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in training, guests of The Marvel Experience can swing with Spider-Man, smash with Hulk, fly with Iron Man, and assist Captain America and Black Widow, and others, all in preparation for an epic battle alongside Marvel’s biggest super heroes in a fight against Red Skull, M.O.D.O.K. and an army of evil Adaptoids.
The Marvel Experience incorporates next-generation interactive technology including augmented reality and multi-person gaming so that you can see yourself in action. Everything happens with cutting-edge technology and advanced computer animation. There’s nothing else like it. Not only do the members of audience get to join the adventure, in the end they may even become heroes themselves.
Hero Ventures, of L.A., has brought together top-notch creative and business minds in animation, and interactive technology to create dynamic live entertainment experiences to share with world-wide audiences in unique and unprecedented ways.
Here is a recent chat with 43-year-old Doug Schaer:
Q: Please tell me the history of The Marvel Experience.Doug Schaer: We’ve been working on this show for more than four years. We have hosted the [preview] shows in Phoenix, Dallas and San Diego for a total of 54 days.
Q: What are the highlights of this show?DS: For me its just a fun show. Every single person who goes through this show has something that they like and it’s always different. The key here is to make people smile.
Q: What was the idea behind the show?DS: To leverage technology to bring enjoyment for everyone. I experienced this with my dad, who is now 71, and my children, my five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, and all of us had a great time and a different favorite.
Q: What is the challenge with this?DS: The most challenging thing is to create something for everybody – that’s what every marketer wants to do, and they want it to be the next generation. There are fans of The Avengers movies, gamers, comic book lovers and more. This is basically a house of ideas. It’s all about the narrative and the story telling – and that has to be accessible to everybody. Our aim was to create the most complex and cool show that is a great deal of fun and had something for everyone.
Q: What else is involved?DS: We are not a theme park and we are not a tech company, so we can be an introduction to the Marvel Universe, there are treats a plenty for the hard core fan boy, movie lovers, several generations of family members, and everyone in between.
Q: So are you the coolest dad on the planet?DS: Good questions. My children don’t know any differently; they assume that everyone gets to play with superheroes all the time.
Q: But they must be thrilled by all of this?DS: Yes. They love superheroes and super heroines. And I often hear; ‘So dad, where are the domes going next?’
Q: So far what has the feedback been?DS: I hear people say they took their children, they went with their college buddies, went for costume night, and we all had a great time. I don’t want to hear, ‘I munched popcorn and watched my kids play.’ I want it to be an interactive and immersive experiential time for everybody who comes.
Q: What else comes to mind.DS: This is exciting because you are literally dropped into this Hollywood scripted adventure. It will propel you though this two hour narrative and you can touch it and feel it. It’s not a museum, a Comic-Con, or theme park — the interactives are meant to be accessible to everybody.
Q: What do you want the take-away to be?DS: I am looking for the audiences to think it was fun, that it is a good value based on the ticket prices, and that they will tell their friends about it. For a show to succeed, especially since we are only in town for a short time, there has to be word-of-mouth.
Q: What’s personally exciting for you about the Philadelphia show?DS: I am coming home. I am a Jersey boy from Bergen County, and I have spent hundreds of great nights in Philly. I love it there – the sports, the food and everything else. Capt. America has to come there; he can be the stanch defender of The Liberty Bell.
The Marvel Experience schedule includes the following dates:
· Chicago, at McCormick Place: Saturday July 11 to Sunday August 2
· New York, NY at The Park Avenue Armory: Thursday August 13 to Sunday August 30
· St. Louis, at America’s Center Convention Complex: Saturday September 5 to Sunday September 20
For tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. For a complete schedule go to: The Marvel Experience website: www.themarvelexperiencetour.com.