After many years of going to London MCM expo and the constant threat of being beaten up by cosplay covered children I realised I needed to expand my horizons and venture to another convention…
One that isn’t just full of anime cosplayers, buying from anime stalls that are selling overpriced anime keyrings and which has the odd scattering of has-been celebrity, but one that’s full of a variety of stalls selling a variety of over priced delights from Star Trek keyrings and gaming sexy lady figures with a huge mass of celebrity icons from film and TV to well known Sporting heroes.
People – I am talking about Collectormania (or Entertainment Media Show and Collectormania London as it likes to be known as now). Now I’m not saying Collectormania will not be busy, because it will be, and I’m not saying that it’s not going to be full of cosplay kids, because again, it will be, but maybe not as many as they did all just spend three days at MCM Expo wasting their money on those over priced key chains.
The main part of Collectormania is, unsurprisingly, collecting. One of my favorite places in the world is Camden Market – and in some ways Collectormania is like Camden market – but for DVDs, video games and all kinds of collectibles. So if you want to pick up action figures, movie props, T shirts (Retro GT is known to have a stall at these events, so say hi and pick up some very cool Video Game T-Shirts if they are). I had one of my very best finds ever at a Collectormania, a 12 inch DOAX Kasumi figure for £12! So there are loads of bargains to be had – as well as some freebies and gaming booths as well!
The other part of Collectormania is for those collecting autographs – and this year for my Mum’s Christmas present I have already pre-ordered a signed photography session with Michael Biehn, from Alien and the original Terminator. So now all I have to do is make sure she doesn’t try to abduct him when she gets within grabbing distance. There are a whole load of people that you can get autographs from, even Jar Jar Binks – although you’re not allowed to slap him. You can also get The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes to give you an autograph, as you wish. In fact, there will be a whole part of the floor given over to people signing autographs and taking pictures, which you have to pay for, but you can walk past looking at Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy and an enormously large Colin Baker from a distance, and maybe even catching a glimpse of Denis Lawson as he talks about being Wedge Antillies in all three original Star Wars movies, as well as being Ewan McGregor’s uncle.
There’s also Alice Krige, who may be unrecognisable without her Borg Queen make up, and Chris Judge, who will look weird with hair, and without a Stargate Egyptian symbol on his head. There’s also Adrian Paul, the other McCloud from the Highlander series. And you will be able to compare the two extremes of the Star Wars Universe, with Darth Vader’s body Dave Prowse appearing with R2D2’s body, Kenneth Baker. There’s also a wealth of Matrix, Back to the Future, Ashes to Ashes, Farscape and Harry Potter actors – as well as the guy who played Atreyu in the Never Ending Story and Mercedes McNab, who will be forever known as Harmony from Buffy and Angel.
There’s also a load of sports people too – but I don’t know my Archie Gemmill from my Lester Piggott. I only know Sir Geoff Hurst from the joke in Red Dwarf – wasn’t he something to do with the 1966 World Cup final? Anyway, they’re all there and more too.
There’s also a Japanese Culture Zone (you’ll have to fight off people to get to the Pocky) where there is actually some really lovely Japanese costumes that people might even dress you in, like they did to me a couple of years ago. There’s also your more traditional cosplay, and for people that love Anime, there is an anime zone – as well as an Aritists Alley for those people wanting to home their drawing skills.
But being Ready Up, what we’re really interested in is the video games – and as people are walking around, the video gaming zone is again organized by DS London. They have modern gaming, retro gaming, a handheld corner and knock out tournaments – but they also have the mainstay of any one of these events where Sci-Fi, Japanese Culture and video games combine… a DDR machine that you can look at and know that not everyone that plays video games fits into the obese stereotype.
So, it’s on this weekend, I will be there, my DS will be there – my mum will be there – and so will Michael Biehn. The question is, will you? For more info check out the Collectormania website!