Monday, 27 October 2014

MCM London Comic Con October 2014.

The weekend of the 24-26th October was the MCM London Comic Con. Or as i have always known it as... The MCM Expo. But i'm just old school and have been going to this con for ten year or more. so it will always be the MCM Expo or just Expo.
Anyway back to the point.
It was the weekend of the Expo and i went of cause and i had a good time. I mean it was a hell of a lot better than the last October convention. Just read the post London MCM Expo... High hopes and little return. A rant post!!! dated 27/10/2013 for my thoughts on last October convention. But i don't want to go into that here cause this was a better con all round. It still had its problems but better than last time none the less.

So the plan was simple head to the Expo then if there was time go to the O2 Arena to see the X-Men Experience. Not sure if Experience is the right word it had something to do with the Sky Store and the release of X-Men the Days of Future Past....



The Expo was good it still has its problems with over crowding and layout is getting better but it still need some work. But with each con the MCM team learn new things and will make little changes that hopefully will make the next con even better. I say that but THEY MUST start thinking about who they have invited and given tables to at these cons. Because having a person who will draw a large crowd SHOULD NOT be placed near the entrance and try to have stages and talk areas as far away as possible from dealer areas theses get crowed and not only block but brings everything to a complete stop. Also have a Information Desk where you can get a Program and ask questions in both halls. If it was me i would of but one in every hall the con took place in. Apart from that i think it was mostly all good. A well run weekend. 



I was very impressed that companies are starting to take notice of this convention. Bandai had a stall showing off the new Sprukits models The batman looks very cool. I may have to get one and try building one. They were also showing the  Power Ranger Legacy Dragon Megazord and Dragon Dagger... Which i must get as soon as they come out over here.... I'm waiting ToysRus... And lets be honest who doesn't want a Metal Dragon Megazord. I hope the MCM team can attract more big name companies and then maybe just maybe we can start getting proper Con Exclusives like st San Diego Comic Con or SDCC for short. Also Playstation and Xbox were there with playable demos of new games just out or coming out soon as well as Namco. Game and CEX were there selling games and having con discounts. I am Taking this as a good sign of the con growing and that can not be a bad thing.
Manga Entertainment, MVM and Anime LTD where there with lots and dvds and blurays for sale. and with a lot of stuff avaliabe to buy a few days early in in one case a month early and with a small discount. very happy with that. That brings me to what i picked up.
When i was at the Anime LTD tables i saw Space Dandy season one for sale now this wont be out till mid/end of November so i picked that up then at the Manga stall i spend most of my hard earned cash and got Code Geass Seasons One and Two as well as Attack on Titan parts One and Two. Not brought a load of anime at a con for a long time. It's not a great load but i'm happy with what i got. I would of got a few Gundam kits for Mecha Month (..That starts next week..) but for the price they were asking i could buy two or three at hlj.com. 
What eles can i say. The cosplayers were all amazing saw some great Warhammer 40K cosplayers as well as the usual anime and manga charters. The 501st are always cool to see to. I have to say i saw a guy with the same Darth Vader costume as i have and it really made me want to pull my finger out and start on the next phase of upgrading it. 
That was the Expo in a nut shell. 
After we left the con my mate and i headed to the O2 to see this X-men thing i had heard about. We were not really sure what it was or how to even get there but whats a little adventure with out a touch of the UNKNOWN! 

Once we got to inside the 02 arena we were meet by a live size Sentinel for the X-Men the Days of Future Past. I have to be honest i was expecting some thing more when we got there we saw a cool Sentinel but the rest was very disappointing. All that was there was six costumes used in the film a pair of Cyclops glasses and his visor and Professor X's Wheelchair... not really an experience.... Still nice to see but not what we were hoping for.... SO with that we decided we still had some time left so we went back into London and headed for the Forbidden Planet. Then it was time to head home and get some rest.

It was a really good day out talked to some cool people and saw a lot of cool things and i am glade that the only thing left is Hyper Japan in mid November. It's getting a little expensive going to all these cons... Which reminds me i need to start thing about ordering the tickets to the London Super Comic Con in early 2015. 
But first Lets look to the coming weeks with Mecha Month starting this Saturday 1/11/14 and remember my list for the month will be 

Robotech all three seasons. 
Robotech The Shadow Chronicles. 
Star Fleet (...Xbomber...)
Gurren Lagann .
RahXephon The Movie.
GunBuster The Movie.
Die Buster The Movie.

And that brings this post to a closes if you went to the expo let me know what you thought of it and if your taking part in Mecha Month let me know what your watching in the comments below.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I could of come home with Bravestar... Winter London Film and Comic Con 2014.

With Destination Star Trek 3 over with and the dust hadn't even settled before i was off to another con. This time it was the Winter London Film and Comic Con (.LFCC.) at Earls Court. It was good i really enjoyed it but it was very and i do mean very quite. It felt like a Sunday not a Saturday. 
The show floor felt empty!!! 
what happened. I get that it's mid October and it's near Christmas so people don't have a lot of spare cash this time of year and then there is the fact that the MCM London Expo is the week after. But with all this considered it just felt like no one was there. And it was fantastic.... i went with a friend and we walked around and could see everything we had room to move around and it felt nice. I guess this is what the Friday preview night must be like.

One thing my friend pointed out to me was the number of people in Star Trek costumes they were everywhere. which is nice and the number of Star Wars and  Marvel/DC cosplayers has grown. Heck we even saw a Cylon from Battlestar Galatica 1978 and iv'e not seen one of them in years. Another thing that surprised us was the lack of Anime/Manga cosplayers. That and the shear lack of Anime and Manga in general. I guess they are all going to the Expo. 

As always there was a lot to buy but as stated above people don't have a lot of money this time of year and DST 3 cost a lot and i do mean a lot, so i was on a budget. i need to save as the number of Transformers figures has increased  year on year.... 
and i need my Transformers Generation One fix.  
But some times when you see something you have to get it right then and there. I saw the Bravestar Complete Series. I grew up in the 1980's and i would watch Bravestar, Transformers, Thundercats and all the other animated classics. So when i can i try to pick up the shows on dvd. And Bravestar is one of the one i really wanted. As always these shows don't get a released in the UK on dvd so when i see them at a con i normally try to pick them up. 
Now i saw Bravestar and was going to get it but my friend said to look around first. Good advise normally i walk the floor see what there is the go round again buy a few things then go to a talk or tow then get lunch then go round again and buy a few more things. This as normily worked for me. After all i normally go there hoping to get a good deal on an old 80's giant robot anime or a good price on a figure or collectible.
So i put it back and made a mental note to comeback and get it. a hour later i came back and it was gone... I had missed it. But all was not lost.... In it's place was the Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs the Complete Series. Awesome if i lost out on Bravestar but i got a classic giant robot show. So all was not wasted. 

Its a short post today and i will be back next week with a post on the MCM London Expo.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Destination Star Trek 3

This weekend me and my brother went to Destination Star Trek 3 and it was so much better than the first Destination Star Trek (.DST.) a massive improvement over the last time and what the organizers were saying on forums and Trek podcast's was differently true. That they had learnt from the mistakes at the first one and they had made changes for the DST Germany convention. And so the improvements was carried over to the DST3 con. I can not stress enough how much better this was and i had a great day but as with everything there was and is room for improvement. One thing that did strike me was the lack of people there. Now don't get me wrong there was still a lot of people there and i know i went on a Sunday so there will always be less people attending but at times it just felt empty. Even through out the day there was people still coming and getting in line for attendance but not in the numbers i would of expected. But the weather was good so i don't really know what happened. I just hope this does not effect the next convention.  


So lets get the cons out of the way After all there are only a few. The biggest is the easiest to fix. Why would you put The Next Generation (.TNG.) bridge right in front of the entrance so as you walk in to the show floor your have the bridge right and when they had the TNG crew photo there was a massive crowd right by the entrance blocking the way. Not a good thing the bridge set should of been off to the side or near the back. There was enough room in the hall. the set was not as big as i was hoping for. I thought it was going to be full size. But sadly it wasn't. My other complaint was that there was no Ships there with all the TV shows and Movies for Star Trek why can't we get a large studio model on display. I would love to see a studio scale model of the Enterprise or any of the other ships used. The museum was great but it was missing a few ships to make it that little bit more special. Another complaint was that the Klingon area was not done well at all. Last time they made a little effort with a few furs laying around and a throne with a small backdrop but this year was just lacking, they had throne back but that was really it. My final complaint is and to be fair they do say to arrange your photos and talks so you don't have clashes... But i did have a clash at 10:00am with two photos and a paid talk with Karl Urban.This would not of been a problem but the costume photo over ran in the prep so they came out late. They looked great and i think it was or is one of the best photos of the day. But it is annoying that i had missed out on a paid talk (.£15.00.) and can't get a refund as i made the chose to do two things at the same time... that need to be looked at but i don't see away around it. Next time i will be more selective with what talks i go to.   


So lets moves on to the pros like i said above this was a greatly improved convention. with great guess and a lay out that mad great use of the hall. Though the TNG bridge was in a silly place. But the Set was well made and did not start to full to bits like the first bridge at the first DST. There was a good range of paid and free talks going on through out the day. The free talks are a great way to break up the day. if you have a few hours between a photo shoot and a paid talk and you have already eaten then just walking over to a talk take a seat and enjoy. while i was waiting for the TNG full crew photo shoot i went to a talk about the behind the senses of the TNG. This covered make-up and special effects. it was very interesting and it was only a pity i had to miss the end as i had to go get my photo taken. Also Amazon.co.uk were there and they had a fantastic sale for the convention. All the boxsets were on sale while the con was on.And i will not complain with getting Star Trek Enterprise seasons 1-4 and TNG seasons 4 and 5 for £17:00 each. 


What is always fun and something i have only really seen at the DST conventions are the Costumed photo shoots. This is great not only are you getting the photo with the actor but they are in costumed so its like meeting the actual characters.And these two guys were really nice and friendly. They seemed generally happy to be there. I look forward to the next con to see who will be in costume. Another thing that was improved was the museum, so much better and larger than before. They had a lot of TNG stuff there and a few movie costumes and props so this was what i thought was going to be there at the first DST i was a lot more impressed with this.








 


The swag we got was not bad ether. Ok it was not a free goody bag but it was not bad even though we had to pay for it.

  
With a good layout, good guests, good talks and good photos it was a really good day. With the weather being good i can not complain. It has been a while since i have enjoyed myself this much at a con. Saying that the photo below does have a interesting story that goes along with it.... It starts out as a negative but ends with perhaps the best part of the day...


Ok let me set the scene.
As this was a TNG heavy convention after all it has been twenty years since TNG ended. (.20 years dang i feel old i was 14 years old when it finished.) There was a cast reunion and this ended with a crew photo on the bridge of the USS Enterprise NCC - 1701-D. So this was a photo with nine of the cast members and as you can imagen this was not cheap. it cost £245 GBP or $392 USD. So a lot of money. Now this was originally set up to be a morning shoot at 9:15am but this was pushed back to 16:30. This must have happend in the days leading up to the con as i recived my ticket two weeks before the convention. I was not told, i did not revive an email or see a massage on twitter or face book about the change. And at 16:30pm i had a paid ticket to go to a William Shatner talk so there would be a clash. This normily just involves anyone with a clash being moved to the front of the line and missing a few minuets of Shatners talk did not bother me to much after all i have seen him talk a few times and he does repeat the same stories. So to prove i had a clash i pulled out both the crew photo ticket and the talk ticket. Me and my brother showed the tickets to the woman working the line and she moved us to the front of the line with a few other people who had clashes. i put the talk ticket back in my bag and gave my bag to the guy at the table so i could get my photo taken. Gave my ticket to the woman taking the tickets and then sat down had my photo taken and left. it was all very quick and as you can imagine this is all done at high speed. cause of the number of people getting there photos done. After all how often will i get a chance to have this done again. Anyway the point is i gave my ticket over and the lady didn't check. she just took my ticket didn't look at it she just waved me through. So as i left and started to head to the Shatner talk i pulled out my ticket only to find out i had handed over the wrong ticket, i had handed over the ticket for the Shatner talk and put the TNG crew photo in my bag. So i was not going to go back a que again for another photo and nor was my brother and with only one ticket we both couldn't go to the talk. So we did the only thing we could. Ok the second thing. The first would of been to sell it quickly to a random guy at the con and make my money back or for a profit.... 
But that's not how me and my bro roll..... 
So as we were leaving we saw and gave the ticket to a guy in a wheelchair. My brother walked up to him and said "It's our lucky day". At first he didn't believe my brother when he told him he gave the guy the ticket i explained what happened and i don't think he heard me but i told him to go now as they are doing the photos and my brother told him to be quick as well. We told him we didn't need it and the look on the guys face made it worth while. and with that good deed done it felt like the best part of the day. You hear or read stories about people being given something or something amazing happening to someone. But you never think for a minute that it would ever happen to you or more importantly you never think you will be the one doing the giving. 

That was Destination Star Trek 3 a great day out and i am looking forward to the next one. But this is only the start of October. On the 18-19th there is the Winter London Film and Comic Con the on the 24-26th there is the MCM London Expo... i had no idea that October was going to be this hectic.... and expensive.