Monday, March 26, 2012

Lexington Comic and Toy Expo

Good morning, everybody! Did we have a good weekend? I know I did!

The entrance, WELL after opening. It was a madhouse for the first few hours.
As you probably know, this past Saturday we hit the Lexington Comic and Toy Expo down in Lexington, Kentucky. It was a one day convention, from 10-5, and it was my nephew’s first convention.  My nephew is almost 6 years old, and he’s a huge Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers fan. This convention’s draw was stars from the different shows, including the long running actors who play Tommy, Bulk, and Skull, so he was excited to meet all of them. Add the convention to the fact that he was able to stay at a hotel with an indoor pool and room service, and he was excited for the weekend. My brother just wanted to make sure they got autographs for his son and himself, plus he was looking for a Star Wars action figure based off the Expanded Universe character he had named his son after. Me, I just wanted to try to find an Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver.

First, let me say this: the convention center area down there is beautiful. Plus, if it were just my brother and I, there were plenty of watering holes for us to hit so we could grab a bite to eat and a brew. However, with a wee one, there didn’t seem to be THAT many family friendly places to eat, so that was kind of disappointing.

We showed up to get our wristbands at 9:30AM, and the venue was already starting to gather a crowd. The main hall had already been open for half an hour for the couple hundred VIP badge holders, but everyone else was waiting for the 10AM general admission opening. After getting our wristbands, we got into the line waiting to get into the hall. During the wait, there was a woman in a Pink Power Ranger costume working the line, along with the ever-present Imperial Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion, which my nephew got his picture taken with.

Don't blink. Don't even blink.
Blink, and you're dead.
At 10AM the gates opened, and we started flowing in. Right as you got on the hall floor, there was a long banner with the con’s logo, which my nephew got his picture taken with. Then, they saw the Back To The Future DeLorean replica, and that was when my brother realized he had left his money back in the hotel room. Since he had the little one, and since I needed the exercise, I hot footed it back to the room to grab his money clip. By the time I got back, he had already scored his first autograph, his Green Arrow #1 which was signed by Mike Grell.

When I got back, we split off, with them going to start waiting in lines for autographs, and me going in hunt of the merchandise and just looking around. There was a LOT of long boxes of comics at this con, along with a lot of Power Rangers figures. Luckily, since I was solo on this portion, I was able to take my time, get the layout of the con.

Who ya gonna call?
One great thing about a convention isn’t just checking out the merchandise and guests, it’s the people who are attending. Outside of the normal 501st Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers, there were also the Custom Mandalorians, the Ghostbusters, and a lone Jedi. I also saw a Dark Knight Batman, Phoenix, Rogue, Mal and Inara from Firefly, Walter from The Big Lebowski, characters from Scott Pilgrim, a Weeping Angel, an amalgamation of different versions of Doctor Who, an Eleventh Doctor, The Question, Doctor Fate, and not-Neil-Gaiman’s Sandman, Captain America and Red Skull, and of course furries and Steampunk. I know there were other costumes, but this is what I remember through the haze of the onset of Con Crud.

BTTF DeLorean from
The DeLorean was also a big draw, and if it wasn’t for past experience I would have been drooling along with everyone else. I know my brother and nephew loved it, but being friends with DeLorean builders, and having seen some dead-on replicas that use parts taken from the same sources as the original cars, I was slightly disappointed. Honestly, though, it made people happy, and it was raising money for Team Fox, so I guess that’s okay. I’m still a little disappointed at them selling the Hot Wheels BTTF DeLorean toys for ten bucks a pop, though.

On the personal end, it was a great con. We were able to find everything that they were looking for, although I’m still without my Sonic Screwdriver. My nephew got to meet stars of his favorite show, get his picture taken in a car from a movie, and got to meet Stormtroopers, Batman and Ghostbusters. My brother got a comic signed by one of the creators he admires, found the toy he’d been looking for, and got his picture taken with an awesome Batman costumer. Me? I got another con under my belt, got some pictures of good costumers, and got to spend time with my brother and nephew. All in all, it was a good weekend.

Now, for the part of me that normally writes about conventions, and used to run conventions, I still think it’s a great convention. I’m not sure how many attendees they were planning for, but the con floor was packed almost the entire day, and most of the vendors I talked to were happy with the haul. They had a good variety of guests, and the attendees all seemed to be having a pretty good time. If anything, the corner with all of the Power Ranger stars was very congested due to the lines for autographs, but since you really don’t want to stick them out of the way, it was something that could be worked around.

On the way back, my brother already started talking about wondering if the convention was happening next year, and that we should make this a yearly thing. 

Congrats, Lexington Comic and Toy Expo, you have done your job properly.

See you tomorrow,

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